Have you ever noticed how, in almost any movie, the main character is only truly happy when they finally enter into an assumingely perfect relationship with their love interest? No Disney movie ever ends with the princess realizing how content she can be while single.
For as long as I can remember, I have believed this to be true. If someone is in a relationship, they clearly have their shit together. No matter how satisfied a single person may seem, I subconsciously assume that some part of them is left unfulfilled.
Over the past twenty years of my life, I have pretty much experienced every kind of relationship, both first and secondhand. I know for a fact that not all of those in relationships are happy, I have seen it myself, clear as day. Yet my brain continues to default to this way of thinking.
When did relationship status become a measure of happiness? Why do we think there is something wrong with us if we are single for “too long”? Why do we always assume that the ex who gets into a relationship first is doing better? If I am being honest, some of my acquaintances that are “taken” are the most unhappy of all, under the false impression that a relationship will completely solve their problems.
For some reason, our brains are trained to perceive all relationships as wonderful. This widely-held misconception is probably due in part to social media. Let’s be real, if Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick can make their toxic mess of a relationship look like “goals” on Instagram, then any romance can be made to seem perfect with the right filter and heart emoji-filled caption.
I don’t know about you, but I think all of this is bullshit. From now on,I am making a conscious effort to never judge someone’s happiness by their relationship status. Relationships do not solve all of our problems, so we need to stop treating them as if they do. If you ever find yourself feeling the need to parade your significant other around on social media to prove that you're doing well, it is probably time to take a step back and reflect. I am a firm believer that the only time any relationship will ever truly work is when both parties are completely happy alone first. After all, we are far too full of life for half-loves.